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Scandals that embroiled the Catholic Church for nearly two decades inspired much debate over removing statutes of limitations that apply to child sex abuse, she said, adding that those arguments are increasingly being applied to cases of adult rape.States are “behind the curve” when rolling back statutes of limitations for adults who were targeted for sexual abuse, compared to efforts to make justice more accessible for childhood survivors of abuse, Hamilton said, “but there’s no question there’s been some piggybacking.” Some states started more sweeping rollbacks on statutes of limitations for incidents of sexual violence long before the latest series of incidents received national attention.Nationwide, one out of three women said they have been sexually harassed or abused at work, according to a recent poll from the PBS News Hour, NPR and Marist Poll.But according to 2016 federal data from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which monitors reports of unwelcome sexual advances at the workplace, 6,914 incidents of sexual harassment were filed that year. Statutes of limitations are laws designed to protect a person from being prosecuted for a crime after physical evidence has deteriorated, or become less reliable, over time.
Other reasons include: “The person who did it was in a position of power and control.More than half of states make exceptions for statutes of limitation if DNA evidence surfaces, but a massive backlog of rape kits illustrates how the promise of justice through forensics has its limits.And Wyoming, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Maryland have no statute of limitations for felony sex crimes, according to RAINN’s database.Leyva said she hadn’t known victims faced that “arbitrary time limit” and she “found that shocking.” At the same time, scandal enveloped comedian Bill Cosby as women said he had drugged and assaulted them, with claims dating back more than 50 years.
Some of those same women came and testified before the legislature in support of Leyva’s bill, she said, adding: “Timing is everything in life.” In August 2016, the American Civil Liberties Union opposed the bill, saying it could increase the odds of an innocent person going to prison.Far more often, system bias stands in the way, Park said, when police officers and detectives dismiss survivor testimonies and lose or mishandle evidence.